I don't have every goal—or method—in common with other protesters. Heck, I don't even support a "Robin Hood tax" on financial transactions. Also, I am too bourgeois and busy to be arrested for civil disobedience. But I do believe, along with many Occupy folks, that in many ways the institutions of our country unfairly favor the rich, and that many institutions unfairly conspire to keep poor people poor and uneducated—and to make working people ever more disposable and insecure. If I [...]
Last night, Occupy Miami was rousted from their encampment, with a few arrested (including photographer Carlos Miller). They have negligible local support, and are remote enough from the rest of the Occupy movement that they're pretty much on their own. (Good news: the camp-clearing was "carried out almost completely without violence," except for when they clubbed a dude.) The small organization will have to regroup without an encampment; it's a hard movement to sustain in isolation, though they say they'll try. (Hint: what a prime American location for an Occupy movement to move homeless people into foreclosed houses!) That's the opposite of Oakland, where Saturday's large [...]
By all accounts, Scandinavia is one of the most prosperous, peaceful and income-equal places to live in the world. Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark hold four of the top five spots in the World Democracy Index (the U.S. ranks 15th). The Scandinavian countries are all the way at the top of OECD’s ranking of the happiest countries in the world (the U.S. is 19th), and they’re all the way at the bottom of the CIA’s ranking of countries by income inequality (the U.S. is 40th out of 140).
But when, on October 15, rallies inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement were held around the [...]
Isn't "Occupy Our Homes," taking place today, the very heart of all the current messay political movements, where left and right can come together? After all, it kicks that sweet spot composed of libertarian anti-tax legal technicalities and loopholes, a conservative "get off my land" American ethos, and the liberal and leftist anti-corporate, anti-big-bank-bullies vision of freedom. Plus, it's got an actual "real America" vibe—not just for "coastal elites"! (Coastal elites are renters, and no one cares about them when they get evicted due to someone else's foreclosure. Though New Yorkers can take the 3 train to Brownsville at 1 p.m. today! "Bring housewarming gifts and [...]
After weeks of what Shon Kay at one point described to me as "march, cops, march, cops," this was going to be something new. Occupy Oakland was going shopping.
Shon has been an integral member of the Occupy Oakland media committee since its inception. When I hear critics say OO doesn't understand media relations, I think of people like Shon—and I think of plans like this one, and their role in the days since all the encampments were cleared.
Over the course of the week prior, Shon organized a group of participants who planned strategy. Last Friday, on the busiest shopping day of the year, about 25 gathered [...]
What’s next for the Occupy Wall Street movement as it regroups after its eviction from Zuccotti Park? A small but energetic group of New York City education activists hope the Occupiers will channel their rage toward Mayor Mike Bloomberg by taking a closer look at his local school reform record.
Last Friday at noon, some two-dozen of these protestors, many of them black and Latino parents with kids in the public schools, crowded the sidewalk on the east side of Zuccotti Park. Pack the book bags of our kids! Not the pockets of the rich!, they chanted. They mostly failed to attract the attention of the hard-core Occupiers—the tent-dwellers—who were [...]
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) August 20, 2012
Would anyone like to take the Occupy bus from New York to Tampa this weekend and then not let us know what happens? That would be great.
Tonight, Occupy Wall Street will be offering a response to the State of the Union address, following any Republican/Tea Party response. (They'll be doing it live from D.C.) Occupy's publicist has embargoed the response speech until after the State of the Union, but it's not really worth printing anyway. (Also: yup, publicist, and yes, embargoed press releases. Hoo boy.) The language of the speech is bombastic yet vague, unspecific and sort of… narcissistic? Lots of rambling about how politics is bought and paid for, yadda yadda. (I mean, yes, that's true! But it's just atmospherics; why not name some names then?) About half of its claims are reminiscent of [...]
The story of the Occupy Wall Street Archive starts with Jeremy Bold, so we might as well too. When Hollywood decides to cash in and make its OWS movie, central casting could do worse than work off a picture of Bold—he has a dark goatee and black plastic-rimmed glasses. He has a “protest name”—Jez. He's in dark, long-sleeved t-shirts and jeans whenever I see him, hair askew, a well-worn nylon backpack slung over one shoulder and a scarf not infrequently tied around his neck. In other words, he looks like any number of people you might have seen at Zuccotti Park. Jez is 27 and originally from North Dakota. [...]
The biggest opera house in the United States concluded its performance on time last night, at 11:15 p.m. Many of the nearly 4,000 people in attendance at the Met lingered in their seats for a bit, the better to praise the cast, orchestra and conductor—as well as to see if Philip Glass would take a curtain call. A number would have heard that the composer of Satyagraha, an opera about the life (sorta) and philosophical lineage (more consequentially) of Gandhi, was meant to have already spoken, at 10:30 p.m., to the Occupy Lincoln Center group just outside. When Glass did at last appear on stage, he was met with a [...]
To anyone paying attention, it wasn’t really a surprise when blacks didn’t come out in droves to support Occupy Wall Street. Despite the fact that blacks suffer from poverty and the ills accompanying it at wildly disproportionate rates, African-Americans have for a number of uncertain reasons been avoiding most of the liberal demonstrations of the moment. Blacks don't occupy Wall Street (or Denver or San Francisco) just as blacks don’t SlutWalk, or rally at the World Bank.
What was surprising was when the rappers started showing up.
Around 8 p.m. on Wednesday night, the 300 people who have been occupying the lawn of Los Angeles City Hall for the past three weeks split themselves into two hostile camps.
Occupy LA’s decision-making body, the General Assembly, has been responsible for conducting the encampment’s business. As in most other cities, the participating members handle everything from ensuring the nightly meeting take place to doing financial research on Los Angeles-based bankers to cleaning up the trash. But on Wednesday, a large group of dissenters decided to occupy the General Assembly’s usual outdoor meeting space and assert themselves as the new regime. One man, standing at the center of the swirling [...]
More than 5,000 tweets using the #needsoftheoccupiers hashtag were collected from October to December of last year, then geo-located and sorted into top unique needs per occupation site. Tweeted needs included books for New York, garden supplies for San Francisco, Kool-Aid and Crystal Light in Orlando, and in Seattle, after police used pepper spray on protestors, Maalox, which can help neutralize and relieve pepper spray symptoms.
New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez had arrived on short notice to observe the sudden raid of Zuccotti Park on November 14th. But witnessing the removal of Occupy Wall Street’s original encampment proved impossible. Instead, officers forced Rodriguez to the ground, cutting his face; “a senior NYPD official with whom he has worked in the past was nearby," the Village Voice reported.
At least ten journalists trying to cover that day’s events were arrested. Freelancers and people attempting to shoot video were threatened. Officers in riot gear hit demonstrators with batons, barring anyone from even approaching the park. Later, the New York Times general counsel wrote [...]
Late last night, the LAPD raided Occupy Los Angeles. More than 1400 police officers—about 15% of the city's officers—were used to arrest more than 200 people, leaving the encampment in a shambles. Teams of police wore hazmat suits and K-9 units swept the camp, looking for incendiary devices, which they did not find. The tactical approach, guided by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on-site, involved eventually cordoning off City Hall Park and arresting everyone trapped inside. The operation was concluded by 3:30 a.m.
Last night, Occupy Los Angeles was to be evicted. As the LA Times put it: "When the LAPD announced that it wanted the campers out by midnight Sunday, officials hoped many protesters would leave voluntarily. Instead, the deadline prompted hundreds of people to converge on the area." Although the police arrested a few people for blocking the streets early this morning, they did not in the end evict the encampment at City Hall Park.